“This week, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released new data (pdf) showing that the most powerful demographic predictor of library card ownership is poverty—more than 60 percent of children living below the poverty level did not have a public library card. Impoverished children often fall behind in school as they face challenges obtaining reading materials, accessing high-speed Internet and finding reliable information online.” (via Direst Dispatch)
“The Omaha Mayor’s Office would like law enforcement officials to be able to access personal information from Omahans’ library cards in emergencies, setting off a debate over patrons’ privacy. Mayor Jean Stothert’s chief of staff, Marty Bilek, appeared before the Omaha Public Library’s board Thursday to ask for a change in the library’s policy. The request stemmed from an incident in which Metropolitan Community College police spent hours trying to identify a belligerent, drunk man at the South Omaha Library.” (via Omaha.com)
“Election officials have been making Shelby County early voters who show only a Memphis library card as their photo identification cast a provisional ballot, and an attorney for the city on Monday demanded the practice stop. Attorney George Barrett wrote in a cease and desist letter to Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper that state election officials are in “defiance” of a court order, and the city of Memphis will go to court if the provisional ballot policy doesn’t stop.”
“Voters will be allowed to use Memphis library cards as photo identification in the November 6 election, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a blow to Republicans who wanted only ID issued by the federal and state governments to be allowed. Tennessee is among a number of states that have passed laws requiring voters to show photo ID. Republicans say the laws are needed to deter fraud, while Democrats say they are aimed at depressing turnout by voters who typically support their party.
The Tennessee law, which took effect at the beginning of the year, requires people to show a driver’s license, state-issued handgun carry permit, a U.S. passport or another form of government-issued ID to vote. Student IDs are not acceptable.”
“New Memphis library cards that include a photo have become a challenge to the new state law requiring certain state-issued photo identification in order to vote. The Memphis library system unveiled the move to the photo library cards last week with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. saying the new library cards could be used to vote starting with the upcoming Aug. 2 elections. Early voting begins Friday, July 13. Less than 24 hours later, Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins contradicted that, saying the new library cards are not valid for voter identification.”
WSJ – “Through a quirk of history, New York is one city with three separate library systems. Crossing their borders can be daunting: Each requires a separate card, and an interlibrary loan can mean a wait of up to a week. Now, officials are considering a plan to offer a single, seamless library account for all New Yorkers that would unify checkouts, returns, deliveries and even late fees for the New York, Brooklyn and Queens public libraries.”
CNN – “Sick of your wallet bulging with plastic? So are a lot of other consumers who carry, on average, nine credit, debit and loyalty cards, according to financial research firm Celent. Tech entrepreneur Jonathan Ramaci spied an opportunity in those overstuffed wallets to sell a slim, secure gadget that could mimic all of the cards.” (via)